La Grande, Oregon
Gerald “Gene” Evans, 73, a lifetime resident of Union County, died Feb. 17 at the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence in La Grande. At his request there will be no public services. The family will have a private celebration of life at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels Chapel of the Valley.
Gene was born March 21, 1934, to Jason and Phyllis (Jones) Evans in Elgin. He was raised on a farm west of Union and attended Union public schools.Active in school sports, he was chosen to play in the Shriner’s Football game in 1953, which was played in Pendleton.
In the summers Gene worked on the Davis Bros. Cattle Co. Ranch outside of Union. He was the first person to drive a tractor pulling a mowing machine on the Davis Ranch. Before that, the haying was done by horses. He also worked on the Harold and LaWana Schwebke farm outside of Imbler.
In 1954-55 he served in the military as a light truck driver in artillery, including 19 months in Japan. When he returned to Union he purchased Gene’s Shoe Store on Adams Avenue in La Grande. He later sold the store and purchased Oregon Trail Trader, also on Adams Avenue, from his uncle John Hammel. He loved to travel and go to gun shows. He collected old toys, guns, coins and many wonderful friends. When he retired he sold the Oregon Trail Trader and moved into the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence.
Gene was a lifetime member of the Union County Museum Society and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He loved to watch high school sports, especially when his cousins were competing. He also liked to hunt and fish.
Survivors include a cousin, Dennis Langford, and other family members.
The Observer – Obituaries for the week ending Feb. 24, 2007 Published: February 24, 2007